NAACP installs new officers

Published 11:06 pm Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The NAACP Nansemond-Suffolk chapter installed new officers Tuesday. From left, current president Charles Gates shakes the hands of Lue Ward, incoming president, Anita Lewis, incoming treasurer, and Clinton Jenkins, incoming first vice president.

Newly installed officers of the Suffolk-Nansemond chapter of the NAACP are pledging to focus their attention on two priorities — education and voter registration.

“Those are real concerns for African-American leaders,” said Lue Ward, the president-elect of the organization.

Ward, along with first vice president Clinton Jenkins and treasurer Anita Lewis, was installed at Tuesday’s meeting of the local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The new leaders assume their duties Jan. 1.

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In addition to focusing on education and voter registration, Ward pledged to try to increase the membership of the chapter’s youth council and to work with local churches on community programs.

“I think I’ll try to really focus on some of the youth and increase the membership of the youth [chapter],” Ward said. “I want Suffolk to be one of the biggest.”

Ward hopes to forge better partnerships with Suffolk’s religious community, as well, he said.

“I really want the involvement of the churches,” Ward said. “I think they’re going to be key. I’ve got a lot of things I want to do with churches and the community.”

The youth council also will focus on problem areas they identify, Ward said.

“[When] you start to invest in the youth, that’s where the leaders come from,” Ward said. “They can work along with some of the things that are lacking in the community. You have to invest in the youth. You can’t just talk about it, you’ve got to do it.”

Clinton Jenkins, the first vice president, said he will support Ward in furthering the agenda laid out by the chapter.

“I will support the president as he needs with the agenda … as far as reinforcing education in our community … as well as voter registration,” Jenkins said. “I’m just going to support the president and his objectives. That’s my job.”

The local chapter sponsors a banquet each February, as well as a variety of activities and events throughout the year.